Passengers wear masks as they arrive at the international arrivals area at the Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., Thursday, January 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

With at a half-dozen possible cases of coronavirus being investigated in Canada, authorities are trying to screen people coming into the country for symptoms.

International airports in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have added messaging about the spreading virus to signs and kiosks, and travellers are asked to informed border agents if they have symptoms.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, symptoms can include a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and a fever in milder coronavirus cases, while serious cases can cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) , which can could lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, kidney failure and death.

Although the World Health Organization did not declare a global health emergency due to the disease, more than 500 people have been infected in China after the outbreak started in the city of Wuhan.

READ MORE: B.C. teacher witnesses coronavirus terror in Shanghai

More than a dozen people have died in China as of Thursday and Canadian authorities are monitoring five to six possible cases in the country. There are suspected cases in Ontario, Quebec and one in the Vancouver area. American authorities have confirmed one case of coronavirus in Washington State.

READ MORE: U.S. officials confirm first case of Wuhan coronavirus near Seattle

Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver airports have been identified as the most likely entry point for coronavirus. Additional health screening questions have been added to kiosks, informing travellers about coronavirus and asking them if they’ve been to Wuhan.

If a traveller shows signs of the virus, the Canadian Border Services Agency is the first point of contact under the Quarantine Act, and will conduct a preliminary screening. If the CBSA officer suspects an infection, they can contact a Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) quarantine officer

The quarantine officer will do a more detailed assessment about where the traveller has been, when they were there and what symptoms they may have, the agency said.

“If deemed necessary, the quarantine officer can then take the appropriate measures to address the potential public health risk,” PHAC said in a statement. Those measures included ordering the traveller to be transported to hospital to undergo a medical examination and to report to the local public health authority.

READ MORE: One person in Vancouver being monitored for coronavirus, feds say

READ MORE: Risk to Canadians of Chinese coronavirus low, health minister says


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Suspect in naked crime spree to appear in Surrey court

Police allege he’s responsible for thefts and multiple collisions

VIDEO: Fire guts boarded-up Langley home

An early morning blaze struck a house in Willoughby

Harm reduction cutting Langley drug deaths, say social workers

Naloxone and drug testing kits are more widely available

Honens International Piano Competition winner to perform in Langley

Nicolas Namoradze performs at Langley Community Music School, Saturday, March 7

VIDEO: Aldergrove Star editor Sarah Grochowski up for an Emmy Award

Her 2018 documentary segment Highway Mike uncovers the opioid crisis in Harlem, New York

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Surrey will replace its RCMP force with municipal police, province confirms

City of Surrey has been authorized to set up its own city police force

Vancouver 4/20 event to protest ‘intolerance of cannabis’ at Sunset Beach in 2020

The 2020 event is billed as a ‘protest and farmers market’

UPDATE: Boy, 5, will donate organs after crash that killed father, son on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Chinatowns across Canada report drop in business due to new coronavirus fears

Around the world, about 81,000 people have become ill with the virus

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Most Read